WOODS CROSS — Police have recovered more than 1,200 cases of stolen alcohol — mostly tequila — worth an estimated $200,000.
The investigation began Friday when a semitrailer was stolen from a lot in West Valley near 5400 W. 2400 South, said Woods Cross Police Cpl. Jason Matthews. The truck was hauling 1,229 cases of alcohol from Las Vegas to Florida when the driver parked it for the weekend. It wasn't reported stolen until the driver returned Monday.
Matthews said a large group of people was likely involved in the heist and not a lone thief. Whether or not the thieves knew they were getting alcohol was unknown Tuesday.
"I think they knew they were getting a truckload of property. I don't know if they knew it would be tequila or not," he said.
The stolen truck and trailer were found abandoned at separate locations in Salt Lake City on Monday. Using a GPS device in the truck, company officials were able to retrace the vehicle's tracks. They discovered it had spent several hours at a truck lot in Woods Cross near 900 S. Redwood Road, Matthews said.
Investigators went to the area to look around the truck stop.
"They found a suspicious trailer that was locked up pretty secure," he said
Detectives obtained a search warrant and discovered the missing alcohol had been off-loaded from the original stolen trailer and put into the second trailer.
Investigators considered holding surveillance on the trailer to see if anyone would come to claim it. However, the company was anxious to get its liquor back and on the road, Matthews said.
"The company responsible for all the property didn't want to chance losing it again," he said. The alcohol was reclaimed by the owners.
The investigation into who took the semitrailer and the alcohol continued Tuesday. West Valley police were investigating.